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Wheelchair Rugby


A bit of history.....


Wheelchair rugby was initially developed in Canada in 1977 as an alternative to wheelchair basketball for quadriplegic athletes unable to fairly compete due to upper and lower limb functional impairments. Originally called ‘Murder Ball’ due to its aggressive, full contact nature, wheelchair rugby has grown in popularity globally and is currently played competitively in over 25 countries.


In 1994, wheelchair rugby was officially recognized by the International Paralympic Committee as a Paralympic sport and was awarded full Paralympic medal status at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games. As a further demonstration of the sport’s growth, in 2010 the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) announced a new partnership with the International Rugby Board (IRB). These two governing bodies will collaborate to develop a shared vision, enable enhanced knowledge sharing and improve development of both sports through key areas such as athlete welfare, exchanging of training materials and cross promotion.


How it’s played.....


Each wheelchair rugby game is played on a regulation basketball court with four players per team on the court at any one time. A game consists of four eight-minute quarters and the aim of the game is to score goals by crossing the opponent’s line whilst still in possession of the ball. Players may play the ball with their arms and hands, or may carry it on their lap or their chair. If the ball is carried on the lap, at least three-quarters of the ball must be visible. To pass the ball, players may throw it, roll it, bat it, or bounce it. Kicking the ball is not permitted. The team with the highest number of points at the end of four quarters is the winner.




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